Exactly one year ago, my Papa passed away. His final days and years did not reflect the man that he truly was physically or mentally. One thing for certain that they did reflect was his will of life and his determination to succeed.
Papa left behind a family name that surpasses any other in my opinion. I proudly refer to myself as a Collins (and have a feeling that I won't ever let it go). He left behind a wife whom he devoutely loved and cherished for 60+ years. That, my friends, is a rare thing to find these days. He left behind a son. A son who is a mini-Papa. A son who has modeled his life after my Papa. (You do not know pain until you see your father breakdown with the loss of his father. It is heart-wrenching).
Papa left behind a community that he helped build into an established, metropolitan area. His efforts to improve the city of Louisville included building and rebuilding homes that had been abandoned, turning the old Male High School into a center of arts, and a place of refuge for other Parkinson's Disease victims.
3 days of funeral service visitations were needed for all of those who my Papa had touched to express their gratitude and sympathy. The feeling was overwhelming, to know that someone so influencial in my life had impacted so many others.
Papa, I miss you.